First United Methodist Church - Wausau Wisconsin
Tuesday, August 04, 2020
Live and Share God's Love

From the Pastor

Rev. Rebecca Voss




July Sermon Series – "Clayed" in God's Image

When God created humanity, in Genesis 2:7 it is described as “ the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” If we all knew ancient Hebrew we would probably let out a chuckle. Why? Because “ground” (adama) and “man” (adam) is a wordplay of the finest “Dad joke” caliber. It goes even deeper when we learn that “adama” more specifically means “red clay”. Put it all together, and God created us as a “red clay humanity”.

I lived in Knoxville, TN from 2002-2004, and there I encountered a red clay soil. It was not ideal to grow flowers or vegetables in, and water could not soak in very quickly, so run-off and flash floods were a frequent problem. When it was wet it was very heavy and difficult to shovel, and when it was dry it was rock-hard and still hard to work with. I remember being overwhelmed with other circumstances in life, and quickly abandoned both my efforts and hope of planting a garden in ground that seemed to work against me. Thankfully, I did not hear God calling me to literally “till the red clay ground” as God commanded Adam to do.

The people of Biblical times were much more diligent about working with clay than I was. Clay played a central role in the daily lives of people. Clay pots held water and cooked food. Clay bricks were made and used to build pyramids. Clay lanterns dispersed the darkness and warmed homes. Clay masks healed and protected skin. Scripture uses clay and things made from clay as analogies to help both the original listeners as well as our more modern ears understand our Creator’s nature and plan for humanity and how God’s persevering grace works in each of us.

Below are the themes and Scriptures we will be focusing on each Sunday. I invite you to read the Scripture passage before you join in worship that day and start contemplating these questions:
  1. How is clay used as an analogy in this passage? 

  2. How is God’s grace seen in how clay is used in these verses? 

  3. What is God doing now to form my mind and heart to be 
more like Christ?
July 12 - “Same Clay, New Day” Jeremiah 18:1-6
July 19 - “Cracked Pots” 2 Corinthians 4:1-7
July 26 - “As Clear as Clay” John 9:1-11

Please join us for worship each Sunday in July as we learn how we can respond to God’s strong yet careful touch in our lives. As people, we are each “clayed” in God’s image. Holy Spirit, we invite You to shape our hearts and minds to become more like Jesus and live in grace to praise our Creator. Amen!

In the Potter’s Hands,
Pastor Rebecca